Sex God, post 1

22 Aug

Awkward title, right? 

Since starting the book Sex God: Exploring the Endless Connections Between Sexuality and Spirituality by Rob Bell gave me the idea to write this blog, it’s the one I’ll talk about first. I’ve been wanting to read this book for a while, mostly because of the shocking (gasp!) title, but also because Rob Bell has a lot of influence in many strains of modern Christianity and I think it’s important to engage with his thoughts. Here we go!

p10 – Bell says that the “custom in the ancient Near East at that time was for the father to give his blessing to his firstborn son before he passed away.” He then says that this was a “symbolic gesture loaded with significance.” A symbolic gesture? That’s a BIG claim. If it’s only a symbolic gesture, why doesn’t Jacob give the same symbolic gesture to Esau and bless him with the same blessing he gave Jacob? Why the big deal? Also, we need to read “blessing” in the context of the rest of the Old Testament, and even the New Testament if we want to. A blessing is often considered to have real power behind it; something real is given. For Bell to state, in one sentence with no further explanation, that a blessing is merely symbolic is like someone saying that the Lord’s supper is merely symbolic: whether or not that’s what you believe, you need to understand that that’s not a simple issue in Christendom. Bell offhandedly tosses out something deep and important that resonates throughout the Old and New Testaments. Too bad for his readers. It’s really their loss. 

p10 – Bell claims that “Jacob’s lie is a serious offense against the family, against Isaac, and ultimately against Esau.” The biblical text says nothing like this. The only good/bad qualification that appears at all is that Esau gives up his birthright to Jacob for a bowl of soup. Later, this example is used to chastise those who, like Esau, give up something lasting and better for something immediate and shallow. Jacob is a trickster, something that is never directly criticized (and may even be mildly praised) in the Bible. If anything, Esau is the one at fault here according to the Biblical text, not Jacob…or his mother Rebekah, who actually was the mastermind behind the whole thing, and whom Bell fails to mention at all. 

p10-11 – Bell frequently sites Ancient Near East custom. First of all, there isn’t one Ancient Near East (ANE) custom. There were lots of of customs associated with different people groups. Furthermore, part of the point of the story of the Israelites in the Old Testament is that they break away from the customs around them, slowly at first, but more over time. They fail at this frequently, but that seems to be their general or intended direction. To say that Isaac is just following an ANE custom is adding information to the story that we don’t have. As one professor at Duke has said, just read the words that are there. That’s your safest and best way to an understanding of the passage you’re reading. This passage does not say “as was the custom” or anything like that. Oh yeah, and he didn’t cite any research about this. It’s just a claim about the whole Ancient Near East, and a really unnecessary one. Thanks, Rob Bell, thanks.

Ok…that’s a long enough post. Be back soon!


“Stop Porn Culture”

16 May

“Stop Porn Culture”

Stumbled across this website. Seems to have some good info and generally expose how pornography negatively affects us all.

“Mall” pretzels

11 Nov

Yummy and fun to do with kids.  Cheap too.  Takes about an hour and a half because you have to let them rise and knead them but they were tasty and better than the non-kneading sort.  I put salt/butter on half and cinnamon/sugar on half.  🙂  It’s like dinner and dessert in one recipe.

Buttery Soft Pretzels

  • 4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 4 cups hot water
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt, for topping


  1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together flour, 1/2 cup sugar, and salt. Make a well in the center; add the oil and yeast mixture. Mix and form into a dough. If the mixture is dry, add one or two tablespoons of water. Knead the dough until smooth, about 7 to 8 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). In a large bowl, dissolve baking soda in hot water.
  4. When risen, turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a rope and twist into a pretzel shape. Once all of the dough is all shaped, dip each pretzel into the baking soda solution and place on a greased baking sheet. Sprinkle with kosher salt.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 8 minutes, until browned.


Apple Crumb Pie

8 Nov

Wanting to try this…

Apple Crumb Pie Recipe


  • 1 (9 inch) pie shell
  • 6 cups thinly sliced apples
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (optional)
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup raisins (optional)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. Place sliced apples in a large bowl. Sprinkle with lemon juice if desired. In a small bowl, mix together white sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Sprinkle mixture over apples. Toss until apples are evenly coated. Stir in raisins and walnuts if desired. Spoon mixture into pastry shell.
  3. In a small bowl mix together 1/2 cup flour and brown sugar. Cut in butter or margarine until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle mixture over apple filling. Cover top loosely with aluminum foil.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 25 to 30 minutes, until top is golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.
Here’s the link to the recipe.

Bacon and Potato Soup

31 Oct

Trying this one tomorrow!

  • 6 thick slices bacon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 4 cups low fat, low sodium chicken broth
  • 4 cups cubed potatoes
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt


  1. Cook bacon until crisp in 3-quart saucepan, remove and drain well on paper towels. Discard bacon grease and wipe pan thoroughly with paper towel.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare vegetables. Add olive oil to saucepan and add onion, carrot, and celery as they are cut up. Saute until onion is soft but not brown, about 3-4 minutes.
  3. Stir in chicken broth, potatoes, and pepper; bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, covered, until potatoes are tender, about 10-15 minutes.
  4. Stir in cheese, heating just until melted–do not boil. Chop bacon and add to soup. Adjust seasoning to taste by adding salt, if desired. Serve at once.

Taryn’s Chocolate Caramel Pie

31 Oct

This was AMAZING. It’s pleasantly, but not too rich. If you love chocolate, this is IT.


for the crust:
pate sablee- even if you do not ordinarily make pie crust, try making
this one. you do not have to roll it out- you just press the crumbs
into the pan- so it’s really easy. i use this crust for all pies
requiring a pre-baked crust. it does not work for the kind of pie
where you put filling into an unbaked crust, unfortunately.

1/3 c sugar
1 c plus 2 TBS all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
7 TBS chilled unsalted butter, diced, plus a pat to grease the pan
1-2 TBS cold milk

with a pastry blender- or two forks, if you do not have a pastry
blender- mix the dry ingredients, then cut in the butter
until the mixture resembles coarse meal. add the milk a little at a
time, testing frequently. it’s done when the dough is still crumbly,
but clumps if you gently squeeze a handful in your hand. now pour the
crumbly dough into a pie plate and use the back of a spoon to spread
it evenly over the bottom. using the heels of your hands and your
fingers, press down on the dough to form a thin layer, covering the
surface of the pan and creating a rim all round. don’t worry if the
dough feels dry- this is normal. cover with a plate (or you could use
plastic wrap to cover it, if you like) and refrigerate for 30 minutes
or up to a day. when you want to bake the crust, preheat the oven to
350, and bake the crust for 20-25 minutes until golden, keeping an eye
on it. transfer to a rack to cool.

For the Pie

1 recipe Pate Sablee, baked and cooled. you can make the tart shell a
day ahead and keep it in an airtight container overnight, if it makes
life easier.

Caramel Filling
1/2 c packed light brown sugar
1 TBS honey
1/2 tsp kosher salt or sea salt
1/3 c heavy cream
2 TBS unsalted butter, diced, plus a pat for greasing the pan

Ganche Filling
10 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 c heavy cream

Prepare the caramel filling:
measure all ingredients before starting
combine brown sugar and 1 TBS water in a small heavy bottomed saucepan
and melt the sugar slowly over medium low heat. swish the pan around
from time to time to ensure even melting, but don’t stir. as soon as
bubbles form on the surface (avoid overcooking the caramel, as this
will result in a bitter taste) add the honey and stir to combine. Add
the salt and cream and stir until blended. remove from heat and add
the butter, stir to combine. pour the caramel into the tart shell and
tilt the pan slowly in a circular motion to coat the bottom of the
shell evenly. Let set in fridge for 40 minutes.

Prepare the ganache filling: put the chocolate in a medium mixing
bowl, preferably stainless steel. bring the cream to a simmer in a
heavy bottomed saucepan over medium low heat. pour half of the cream
on the chocolate (cover the saucepan to keep the remaining cream
warm), let stand for 20 second, and stir gently in the center w/ a
whisk, gradually blending the cream w/ the chocolate until smooth. add
half of the remaining cream and stir again until combined. repeat with
the remaining cream. remove the tart pan from the fridge, pour the
chocolate filling into the shell, and level the surface w/ a spatula.
return to the fridge to set for an hour.

remove from the fridge 15 minutes before serving.

Lemon Poppyseed Scones

30 Oct
Made these this morning, and they were really good–mine weren’t
quite this fluffy, and I was asleep for half of the ingredient mixing,
so I’m wondering if we didn’t use enough baking powder, but
they still turned out well. Nice hard exterior & soft interior–yum!
Come on over & try on =).
Lemon Poppy Seed Scones. Photo by Karen=^..^=

Photo by Karen=^..^=

Total Time: 40 min.

Prep Time: 15 mins

Cook Time: 25 mins.



8 very large scones or 16 medium scones


  1. Preheat oven to 375F degrees.
  2. Position rack in top third of oven.
  3. Mix flour, 1 cup sugar, poppy seeds, baking powder, lemon peel and salt in food processor.
  4. Add butter and cut in, using on/off turns, until mixture resembles coarse meal.
  5. Whisk egg, and lemon juice in medium bowl to blend.
  6. Add flour mixture.
  7. Using pulse, process until moist clumps form.
  8. Add 1/3 cup milk.
  9. Using pulse, process just until dough comes together, adding more milk if dough seems dry.
  10. Using floured hands, gather dough into ball.
  11. Flatten to 8″ round. (or two 4″ rounds)
  12. Cut round into 8 (or 16) wedges.
  13. Transfer scones to large baking sheet; brush with milk.
  14. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tbs sugar.
  15. Bake until scones are golden brown and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 25 minutes.
  16. Transfer to rack and cool.
  17. (Can be made one day ahead. Store airtight at room temperature).

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